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davidbrucehaiku: money, gun, and rose




Money, gun, and rose

Can be used for good, evil

They are simply tools


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davidbrucehaiku: rebel






Worthwhile rebellion?

Rebel against ignorance,

Cruelty, injustice


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David Bruce: William Shakespeare’s 2 HENRY VI: A Retelling — Act 4, Scenes 8-10

— 4.8 —

A battle was being fought at Southwark, a district of London.

Jack Cade ordered, “Up Fish Street! Down Saint Magnus’ Corner! Kill and knock down! Throw them into the Thames River!”

Fish Street was a major approach to London Bridge. Saint Magnus’ Corner was at the lower end of Fish Street and the place where Saint Magnus’ Church stood.

A parley sounded. The Duke of Buckingham and Lord Clifford, who were representatives of King Henry VI, wished to talk to the rebels.

“What noise is this I hear?” Jack Cade said. “Does anyone dare to be so bold to sound either a retreat or a parley, when I command them to kill?”

The Duke of Buckingham and Lord Clifford arrived with many soldiers.

The Duke of Buckingham, who had heard Jack Cade’s second question, replied, “Yes, here are those who dare and will disturb you.

“Know, Cade, we come as ambassadors from the King to the commoners whom you have misled, and here we officially declare free pardon to all who will forsake you and go home in peace.”

Lord Clifford said, “What do you say, countrymen? Will you relent, and will you yield to mercy while it is offered to you? Or will you let a rebel lead you to your deaths?

“Whoever loves the King and will embrace his pardon, let him fling up his cap and cry, ‘God save his majesty!’

“Whoever hates the King and does not honor his father, Henry V, who made all France quake, let him shake his weapon defiantly at us and pass by.”

All of the rebels except Jack Cade flung their caps up in the air and cried, “God save the King! God save the King!”

Jack Cade said, “Buckingham and Clifford, are you so daring? And you, base peasants, do you believe him? Will you have to be hanged with your worthless pardons about your necks? Has my sword broken through London gates so that you would leave me at the White Hart Inn where I am residing in Southwark? I thought you would never have surrendered these weapons until you had recovered your ancient freedom, but you are all recreants and despicable people, and you delight to live in slavery to the nobility.

“Let them break your backs with burdens, take your houses over your heads, and rape your wives and daughters in front of your faces. As for me, I will look out for myself, and so may God’s curse fall upon you all!”

All of the rebels shouted, “We’ll follow Cade! We’ll follow Cade!”

Lord Clifford asked, “Is Cade the son of Henry V? Is that why you exclaim you’ll go with him? Will he conduct you through the heart of France, and make the lowest born of you Earls and Dukes?

“Alas, he has no home, no place to fly to, nor does he know how to live except by pillaging, unless he makes his living by robbing your friends and us.

“Wouldn’t it be a shame, if while you live as rebels, the fearsome French, whom you recently vanquished, would make a start over seas and vanquish you? I think already in this civil broil I see them lording it in London streets, crying ‘Villiago!’ — ‘Villain!’ — at all whom they meet.

“It is better that ten thousand lowly born Cades die than that you should kneel to a Frenchman’s mercy.

“Go to France, go to France, and get what you have lost. Spare England, for it is your native coast. King Henry VI has money, you are strong and manly, and God is on our side, so don’t doubt that you will be victorious.”

All the rebels except Jack Cade shouted, “Clifford! Clifford! We’ll follow the King and Clifford.”

Jack Cade thought, Was a feather ever so lightly blown to and fro as this multitude? The name of King Henry V drags them to a hundred deeds I don’t like, and it makes them leave me desolate. I see them lay their heads together as they plot to capture me. My sword must make a way for me, for there is no staying here.

He said out loud, “In despite of the Devils and Hell, I will make my way through the middle of you! May the Heavens and honor be my witnesses that no lack of resolution in me, but only my followers’ base and ignominious treasons, makes me take myself to my heels.”

He dashed through the crowd of rebels and escaped.

The Duke of Buckingham said, “Has he fled? Go, some of you, and follow him. Whoever brings his head to the King shall have a thousand crowns for his reward.”

Some of the rebels exited.

The Duke of Buckingham added, “Follow me, soldiers. We’ll devise a way to reconcile you all to King Henry VI.”

— 4.9 —

Trumpets sounded, and King Henry VI, Queen Margaret, and the Duke of Somerset, plus some attendants, appeared on the wall of Kenilworth Castle.

King Henry VI said, “Was there ever a King who enjoyed an Earthly throne and could command no more content than I? As soon as I had crept out of my cradle at nine months old, I was made a King. Never has a subject longed to be a King as I long and wish to be a subject.”

The Duke of Buckingham and Lord Clifford arrived.

The Duke of Buckingham shouted to King Henry VI, “Health and glad tidings to your majesty!”

King Henry VI asked, “Buckingham, has the traitor Cade been captured? Or did he make a strategic retreat to make himself strong?”

The rebels, wearing nooses around their necks as a sign of submission, arrived.

Lord Clifford said, “Jack Cade has fled, my lord, and all his soldiers yield, and humbly so, with nooses on their necks. They await your highness’ judgment of life or death.”

King Henry VI said, “Then, Heaven, set open your everlasting gates to entertain my vows of thanks and praise!

“Soldiers, this day you have redeemed your lives, and showed how well you love your Prince and country. Continue always in this so good a mind, and assure yourselves that Henry, although he is unfortunate, will never be unkind. And so, with thanks and pardon to you all, I dismiss you so you can return to your different counties.”

The rebels shouted, “God save the King! God save the King!”

The rebels exited.

A messenger arrived and said, “If it pleases your grace to be informed, know that the Duke of York has just come from Ireland, and with a powerful and mighty army of gallowglasses, aka heavily armed Irish soldiers, and fierce kerns, aka lightly armed Irish soldiers, he is marching here in proud array, and he continually proclaims as he comes along that his weapons are only to be used to remove from you the Duke of Somerset, whom he calls a traitor.”

King Henry VI said, “Thus stands my distressed country, between Cade and York. It is like a ship that, having escaped a tempest, is immediately calmed and then boarded by a pirate.

“Just now Cade was driven back and his men dispersed, and now York has come with weapons to take Cade’s place.

“I request that you, Buckingham, go and meet him, and ask him what’s the reason for these weapons of his. Tell him I’ll send Edmund Beaufort, the Duke of Somerset, to the Tower of London.

“Duke of Somerset, we’ll commit you to the Tower until the Duke of York’s army is dismissed from him.”

The Duke of Somerset said, “My lord, I’ll yield myself to prison willingly, or to death, to do my country good.”

King Henry VI said to the Duke of Buckingham, “In any case, don’t be too harsh in the discussion you have with the Duke of York, for he is fierce and cannot endure hard language.”

“I will do as you say, my lord,” the Duke of Buckingham replied, “and I don’t doubt that I will arrange matters so that they shall turn out to be for your good.”

King Henry VI said to Queen Margaret, “Come, wife, let’s go in, and learn to govern better, for England may yet curse my wretched reign.”

— 4.10 —

Jack Cade stood in the garden of Alexander Iden in Kent.

He said to himself, “Damn ambition! Damn myself, who has a sword, and yet is almost starved to death! These five days I have hidden in the woods outside this garden and have not dared to peep out, for all the country is looking for me, but now I am so hungry that even if I might have a lease of my life for a thousand years I still could stay no longer in the woods and starve.

“Because of my hunger, I have climbed over a brick wall into this garden to see if I can eat plants, or pick a sallet again, which is not amiss to cool a man’s stomach this hot weather.”

Despite his hunger, Jack Cade was still able to engage in word play. The phrase “a sallet” meant both 1) a salad, and 2) a type of helmet.

He said to himself, “I think this word ‘sallet’ was born to do me good, for many a time, except for a sallet, my brainpan would had been cleft with a halberd, and many a time, when I have been thirsty and bravely marching, it has served me instead of a quart pot to drink in; and now the word ‘sallet’ must serve me to feed on.”

Alexander Iden entered his garden.

Not seeing Jack Cade, he said to himself, “Lord, who would live troubled in the court, when he instead may enjoy such quiet walks as these? This small inheritance my father left me makes me content and happy, and to me it is worth a monarchy. I don’t seek to grow great by other people’s waning, or to gather wealth by any evil means possible. It is enough that what I have maintains my well-being and sends the poor from my gate well pleased with the alms I have given them.”

Jack Cade said to himself, Here’s the lord of the soil come to seize me for a stray, for entering his fee-simple without leave.

Alexander Iden owned the estate in fee-simple. It was his private possession in perpetuity unless he sold it. The owner of a private estate was permitted to take possession of any stray animals that wandered onto his property.

Jack Cade said to Alexander Iden, “Ah, villain, you will betray me, and get a thousand crowns from the King for carrying my head to him, but I’ll make you eat iron like an ostrich, and swallow my sword like a great pin, before you and I part.”

People in this culture believed that ostriches swallowed iron nails.

Alexander Iden said, “Why, rude fellow, whoever you are, I don’t know you. Why, then, should I betray you? Isn’t it enough to break into my garden, and, like a thief, to come to rob my grounds, climbing over my walls in spite of me the owner? Must you also defy me with these insolent words?”

Jack Cade replied, “Defy you! Yes, by the best blood — that of Christ — that ever was shed, and I will pull your beard, too. Look well at me. I have eaten no food these five days, yet if you and your five men attack me, if I do not leave you all as dead as a doornail, then I pray to God I may never eat plants anymore.”

The phrase “your five men” was an insult. Jack Cade was implying that Alexander Iden had no more than five men working on his estate.

Alexander Iden said, “It shall never be said, while England stands, that Alexander Iden, an esquire of Kent, took advantage of superiority of numbers to combat a poor famished man.”

An esquire held the rank of a gentleman just below that of a knight.

He continued, “Oppose your steadfast-gazing eyes to mine, and see if you can stare me down with your looks. Compare us limb to limb, and you will see that you are far the lesser. Your hand is only a finger compared to my fist. Your leg is only a stick compared with this truncheon — thick club — that is my leg. My foot shall fight with all the strength you have, and if my arm is lifted in the air, then your grave is already dug in the earth.

“As for words, whose greatness answers words, let this my sword report what speech forbears. Big words answer big words, but I will let my sword say what words cannot say.”

Jack Cade replied, “By my valor, you are the most complete champion whom I ever heard!”

He then said to his sword, “Steel, if you blunt your edge, or don’t cut the burly boned country boor into joints of beef before you sleep in your sheath, I will beg God on my knees that you may be melted down and turned into hobnails for shoes.”

The two men fought with swords, and Alexander Iden mortally wounded Jack Cade.

Jack Cade cried, “Oh, I am slain! Famine and no one else has slain me. Let ten thousand Devils come against me, and give me just the ten meals I have not eaten the past five days, and I’ll defy them all. Wither, garden, and be henceforth a cemetery to all who dwell in this house because the unconquered soul of Cade is fleeing.”

Alexander Iden said, “Is it Jack Cade whom I have slain, that monstrous traitor?

“Sword, I will hallow and glorify you for this deed of yours, and I will have you hung over my tomb when I am dead. Never shall this blood be wiped from your point, but you shall wear it like a herald’s red coat to emblaze and proclaim publicly like a coat of arms the honor that your master has gotten.”

“Iden, farewell, and be proud of your victory,” Jack Cade said. “Tell the region of Kent from me that she has lost her best man, and exhort all the people in the world to be cowards, for I, who never feared anyone, have been vanquished by famine, not by valor.”

He died.

Alexander Iden said, “How much you have wronged me, let Heaven be my judge. Die, damned wretch, the curse of her who gave birth to you, and as I pierce your body with my sword” — he did just that — “so wish I that I might thrust your soul to Hell.

“I drag your corpse by the heels with your head dragging from here to a dunghill that shall be your grave, and there I will cut off your most graceless and wicked head, which I will bear in triumph to the King, leaving your trunk for crows to feed upon.”


Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved


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David Bruce: William Shakespeare’s 2 HENRY VI: A Retelling in Prose — Act 4, Scene 7

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01N5C7W2V/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i74— 4.7 —

In Smithfield, London, the battle had taken place. The rebels were victorious and had killed the great warrior Matthew Goffe.

Jack Cade said, “So, sirs, now some of you go and pull down the Savoy — the residence of the Duke of Lancaster. Others of you go to the Inns of Court — the London law schools and the place where London lawyers work and reside. Down with them all!”

Dick the Butcher said, “I have a suit — a formal request — for your lordship.”

Jack Cade replied, “If you want a lordship, you shall have it for calling me ‘my lordship.’”

Dick the Butcher said, “I request only that the laws of England may come out of your mouth.”

John Holland said, “By the Mass, it will be sore — poor and painful — law, then, for he was thrust in the mouth with a spear, and the wound has not healed yet.”

Smith the Weaver said, “John, it will be stinking law because his breath stinks from eating toasted cheese.”

Jack Cade replied to Dick the Butcher, “I have thought about it, and it shall be so. All laws will come from my mouth. Leave, and burn all the records of the realm. My mouth shall be the Parliament of England.”

John Holland said, “Then we are likely to have biting — severe — statutes, unless his teeth are pulled out.”

Jack Cade said, “And henceforward all things shall belong to the whole community — they shall be owned in common.”

A messenger arrived and said, “My lord, a prize, a prize! Here’s the Lord Say, who sold the towns in France; he is the man who made us pay one and twenty fifteens, and one shilling to the pound, the last subsidy.”

The messenger was exaggerating how much taxes the commoners paid. One and twenty fifteens totaled 140 percent.

Jack Cade said, “Well, he shall be beheaded for it ten times.”

Lord Say, guarded by the rebel George Bevis, arrived.

Jack Cade then said to Lord Say, “Ah, you say, you serge — no, you buckram lord!”

“Say” was a fine-textured cloth, “serge” was a woolen cloth, and “buckram” was a cloth that was stiffened with glue.

Jack Cade continued, “Now you are within point-blank range of our regal jurisdiction. What can you answer to my majesty for the giving up of Normandy to Mounsieur Basimecu, the Dauphin of France?”

“Mounsieur” was an uneducated pronunciation of the French “Monsieur,” and “Basimecu” was an uneducated pronunciation of the French “Baise mon cul,” aka “F**k my *ss.”

Jack Cade continued, “Be it known to you by these presence, even the presence of Lord Mortimer, that I am the besom — broom — that must sweep the court clean of such filth as you are. “

He was confusing the Latin “per has literas presents,” aka “by these present documents,” and “in this presence.”

Jack Cade continued, “You have most traitorously corrupted the youth of the realm by erecting a grammar school, and whereas our forefathers previously had no other books but the score and the tally, which are a way of recording debts, you have caused printing to be used, and, contrary to the King, his crown, and his dignity, you have built a paper mill.”

The ancient Greek philosopher Socrates taught the youth of Athens, for which activity he was accused in a lawsuit of “corrupting the youth of Athens.”

Jack Cade continued, “It will be proved to your face that you have men about you who usually talk of a noun and a verb, and these are such abominable words as no Christian ear can endure to hear. You have appointed justices of peace to call poor men before them about matters they were not able to answer satisfactorily. Moreover, you have put them in prison, and because they could not read, you have hanged them; when, indeed, for just that reason they have been most worthy to live.”

In this culture, priests were exempt from being tried in a criminal court, although they could be tried in an ecclesiastical court. Priests were able to read Latin and anyone who could prove that he could read Latin could avoid a sentence of capital punishment given in a criminal court by claiming benefit of clergy.

Jack Cade continued, “You ride in a footcloth, don’t you?”

He meant that Lord Say rode a horse that was decorated with a footcloth — a richly ornamented cloth that was draped over the horse’s back.

“What of that?” Lord Say asked.

Jack Cade said, “By the Virgin Mary, you ought not to let your horse wear a cloak, when men who are more honest than you go about in their tights and jackets.”

Dick the Butcher added, “And work in their shirt, too, as for example I myself, who am a butcher, do.”

Jack Cade’s point was that animals ought not to be better dressed than human beings.

Lord Say began, “You men of Kent —”

Dick the Butcher interrupted, “What do you say about Kent?”

Knowing that the rebels did not know Latin, Lord Say replied, “Nothing but this: It is ‘bona terra, mala gens.’”

Bona terra, mala gens” is Latin for “a good land, a bad people.”

“Away with him, away with him!” Jack Cade said, “He speaks Latin.”

Lord Say said, “Hear me speak, and then take me where you will.

“Julius Caesar, in his Commentaries on the Gallic War, wrote that Kent is the most civil place of this isle. Sweet is the country, because full of riches. The people are liberal, valiant, active, and wealthy, which makes me hope you are not devoid of pity.

“I did not sell Maine, I did not lose Normandy, yet I am willing to lose my life to recover them.

“As a judge, I have always given justice with mercy. Prayers and tears have moved me, but gifts never could. I did not accept bribes.

“When have I exacted any tax at your hands, except in order to maintain the King, the realm, and you?

“I have bestowed large gifts on learned clerks because my education preferred me to the King. Seeing that ignorance is the curse of God, while knowledge is the wing wherewith we fly to Heaven, unless you are possessed with Devilish spirits, you cannot but refrain from murdering me.

“This tongue has parleyed with foreign Kings for your benefit —”

Jack Cade said, “Tut, when have you struck even one blow on the battlefield?”

Lord Say said, “Great men have hands that reach far. Often have I struck those whom I never saw and struck them dead.”

George Bevis said, “Oh, monstrous coward! To come up behind folks and then strike them dead!”

Lord Say said, “These cheeks of mine are pale because I spent so much time watching out for your good.”

Jack Cade said, “Give him a box on the ear and that will make his cheeks red again.”

Lord Say said, “Long sitting as a judge to rule in poor men’s law cases has made me full of sickness and diseases.”

Jack Cade said, “You shall have a hempen caudle, then, and the help of hatchet.”

A caudle is a warm drink intended to restore invalids to health. A hempen caudle is a hangman’s noose. The word “hatchet” refers to an executioner’s ax. After being hung and then beheaded so that one’s head can be displayed on a pole, no one has to worry about sickness and disease.

Dick the Butcher asked Lord Say, who was trembling, “Why are you quivering, man?”

“The palsy, and not fear, affects me, an old man, and makes me tremble,” Lord Say replied.

Jack Cade said, “He nods at us, as if to say, ‘I’ll get even with you.’ I’ll see if his head will stand steadier on a pole, or not. Take him away, and behead him.”

Lord Say said, “Tell me in what I have offended most? Have I sought wealth or honors? Tell me. Are my chests filled up with gold that I have extorted from others? Is my apparel sumptuous to behold? Whom have I injured with the result that you seek my death? These hands are free from the shedding of guiltless blood. This breast is free of harboring foul deceitful thoughts. Oh, let me live!”

John Cade thought, I feel remorse in myself because of his words, but I’ll bridle my remorse. He shall die, even if it be only for pleading so well for his life.

He said out loud, “Away with him! He has a familiar spirit under his tongue; he speaks not in God’s name.”

Witches had familiars — spirits that served them.

Jack Cade continued, “Go, take him away, I say, and strike off his head immediately; and then break into the house of his son-in-law, Sir James Cromer, and strike off his head, and bring both heads on two poles here.”

The rebels said, “It shall be done.”

“Ah, countrymen!” Lord Say said. “If when you make your prayers, God would be so obdurate as yourselves, how would it fare with your departed souls? Therefore relent now, and save my life.”

Jack Cade ordered, “Take him away! And do as I command you.”

Some rebels, including Dick the Butcher, exited with Lord Say.

Jack Cade said, “The proudest peer in the realm shall not wear a head on his shoulders, unless he pays me tribute. Not a maid shall be married, but she shall pay to me her maidenhead before her husband can have it. Men shall hold land from me in capite.”

In capite” was a Latin phrase meaning “from the head.” The Latin legal phrase referred to land held directly from the King, who was the head of the country.

Jack Cade continued, “And we order and command that husbands’ wives be as free and sexually available as heart can wish or tongue can tell — you will get as much sex as you could want or ask for.”

A rebel arrived and said, “Captain, London Bridge is on fire!”

Jack Cade said, “Run to Billingsgate and fetch pitch and flax and quench it.”

Pitch and flax would make the fire burn more fiercely.

Dick the Butcher and a Sergeant arrived.

The Sergeant said, “Justice, justice, I ask you for justice, sir. Let me have justice on this fellow Dick the Butcher here.”

Jack Cade asked, “Why? What has he done?”

“Sir, he has raped my wife,” the Sergeant said.

Dick the Butcher said to Jack Cade, “Why, my lord, he would have arrested me and so I went and entered my action in his wife’s proper house.”

“Arrested” also meant “stopped.”

“Entered my action in his wife’s proper house” meant 1) “stated my law case in his wife’s house,” and 2) “entered my penis and its action in his wife’s body.”

Jack Cade said, “Dick, follow your suit in her common place.”

This meant 1) “Dick, pursue your law case in her common meetinghouse,” and 2) “Dick, pursue your sexual desire in her vagina, which is open to all.”

John Cade then said to the Sergeant, “You whoreson villain, you are a Sergeant — you’ll take any man by the throat for twelve pence, and arrest a man when he’s at dinner, and have him in prison before the food is out of his mouth.”

He then said to Dick the Butcher, “Go, Dick, take him away from here. Cut out his tongue for deception, cripple him for running, and, to conclude, brain him with his own mace.”

Dick the Butcher took the Sergeant away.

A rebel asked Jack Cade, “My lord, when shall we go to Cheapside and take up commodities upon our bills?”

“Take up commodities upon our bills” meant 1) “Buy goods [commodities] on credit [bills],” 2) “Take women’s sexual organs [commodities] upon our penises [bills],” aka rape women, and 3) “Steal [Take] goods [commodities] by using our bills [long-handled weapons with blades].”

Jack Cade said, “By the Virgin Mary, right away. He who will lustily stand to it shall go with me and take up these commodities following — item, a gown, a kirtle [outer petticoat], a petticoat, and a smock [ladies’ undergarment].”

“Stand to it” meant “get an erection.”

The rebels shouted, “Oh, splendid!”

Two rebels arrived, carrying Lord Say’s head and Sir James Cromer’s head on two poles.

Jack Cade said, “But isn’t this more splendid? Let them kiss one another, for they loved each other well when they were alive.”

The two rebels holding the poles brought the heads together as if the heads were kissing.

Jack Cade continued, “Now part them again, lest they consult about the giving up of some more towns in France.

“Soldiers, defer the despoiling and plundering of the city until night, for with these heads borne before us, instead of maces — staffs of office — we will ride through the streets, and at every corner we will have them kiss. Away! Let’s go!”


Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved


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Edgar Lee Masters: Percival Sharp (Spoon River Anthology)

OBSERVE the clasped hands!
Are they hands of farewell or greeting,
Hands that I helped or hands that helped me?
Would it not be well to carve a hand
With an inverted thumb, like Elagabalus?
And yonder is a broken chain,
The weakest-link idea perhaps—but what was it?
And lambs, some lying down,
Others standing, as if listening to the shepherd—
Others bearing a cross, one foot lifted up—
Why not chisel a few shambles?
And fallen columns!
Carve the pedestal, please,
Or the foundations; let us see the cause of the fall.
And compasses and mathematical instruments,
In irony of the under tenants, ignorance
Of determinants and the calculus of variations.
And anchors, for those who never sailed.
And gates ajar—yes, so they were;
You left them open and stray goats entered your garden.
And an eye watching like one of the Arimaspi—
So did you—with one eye.
And angels blowing trumpets—you are heralded—
It is your horn and your angel and your family’s estimate.
It is all very well, but for myself
I know I stirred certain vibrations in Spoon River
Which are my true epitaph, more lasting than stone.

Elagabalus, also known as Heliogabalus (Latin: Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus; c. 203 – 11 March 222), was Roman emperor from 218 to 222. A member of the Severan dynasty, he was Syrian, the second son of Julia Soaemias and Sextus Varius Marcellus. In his early youth he served as a priest of the god Elagabalus in the hometown of his mother’s family, Emesa. As a private citizen, he was probably named Sextus Varius Avitus Bassianus. Upon becoming emperor he took the name Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus. He was called Elagabalus only after his death.

Source: Wikipedia

The Arimaspi (also Arimaspian, Arimaspos, Arimaspoi, Ancient Greek: Αριμασπος, Αριμσασποι) were a legendary tribe of one-eyed people of northern Scythia who lived in the foothills of the Riphean Mountains, variously identified with the Ural Mountains or the Carpathians. All tales of their struggles with the gold-guarding griffins in the Hyperborean lands near the cave of Boreas, the North Wind (Geskleithron), had their origin in a lost work by Aristeas, reported in Herodotus.

Source: Wikipedia